Klevis Bega, professionally known as Kastro Zizo is one of the top artists who has changed music forever. Being one of the pioneers in 1997 in hip-hop and rock music in Albania with his bold originality, Kastro Zizo has paved the way for other diverse talents to come out of Albanian music industry. His voice, creativity, talent, and ability to woo huge crowds make him one of the greatest musicians in Albania and beyond.
Singer, producer, actor and TV host, Klevis Bega aka Kastro Zizo is often called the Father of Urban Rock in Albania. In 1997 he co-founded the popular rock band “2 Farm” which garnered critical and commercial acclaim before embarking on a successful solo artist career. Delivering socially conscious lyrics and folk-rock original sound, Kastro Zizo has revolutionized Albanian art history, influencing generations of artists.
Zizo has released 5 hit albums, “Ja ke fut kot” (2 Farm, 2001), “Komplet Komplot” (2005), “Se keshtu e doni ju” (2007), “Ketri, Pula dhe Njeriu” (2010), and “Karantina” (2020). Zizo’s classic album “Ja ke fut kot” still offers aspiring musicians a lyrical masterclass in visceral and thought-provoking storytelling.
Zizo enjoyed his taste of international success in music with the release of 5 albums, which topped song charts and won over 25 awards. He received numerous accolades for pioneering folk rock music and hip hop, which include industry awards such as: Best Male Artist, Artist of the Year, Best song lyrics, Best Interpretation, Best Tendency, Best Music Video, just to name a few.
More recently, Kastro Zizo won the prestigious Congressional Award “Artist of the Year 2022” in Washington DC, Most Influential Artist of 2022 by NY Elite Magazine, and the New York City Certificate of Recognition by Mayor Eric Adams (2023), honored for his 25 years of professional career in music and TV, his non-profit work for youth advocacy, and his outstanding contribution to New York’s Albanian-American community.
Kastro Zizo became an international sensation on the big screen when he landed the leading role in the drama feature film “Pharmakon” (2012, dir. Joni Shanj), starring as “Branko”. The film was selected as the Albanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013. “Pharmakon” won the Jury’s Special Price at the Albanian National Film Festival (2012), Award of Merit at Lucerne International Film Festival (2013), and Best Actress Award at Levante International Film Festival (2013).
Kastro Zizo starred on RTV Ora’s Late-Night Show with with Kastro Zizo and Rrokum Nights with Kastro Zizo in Prishtina. He was a celebrity contestant of Dance with the Stars Albania, Your Face Sounds Familiar, Dance Albania, reaching millions of viewers.
In 2020 Kastro Zizo founded his non-profit organization “My future, my present,” (E ardhmja ime, e tashmja ime) to promote the rights of youth through advocacy and organizing activities. Founded in Tirana, the non-profit organization creates opportunities for youth in education, dialogue activities, youth development, arts, culture and social issues.
Kastro Zizo was born in 1984 in Albania. He is a graduate of Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, majoring in Cosmology and Astrophysics. He served as an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Tirana, Faculty of Math and Physics. He has two sons and a daughter and resides with his wife, Sara.
2003: Best Song Lyrics Award at Top Fest 1, for the Soni Malaj’s “Larg Natës,” songwriter Kastro Zizo.
2004: “Best Pop” and 2nd Place at Golden Mic Music Festival (Mikrofoni i Artë), for Besa Kokdhima’s “Zonja dhe zoterinj”, backup vocals singer and songwriter Kastro Zizo.
2006: Best Feat Award for Kastro Zizo ft. Besmir Metani & Sanchez, “Party” at Magic Song Competition (Kënga Magjike).
2006: Best Pop Award for Kastro Zizo ft Rozana Radi, “Meni Mosi” at the Golden Mic Music Festival (Mikrofoni i Artë).
2006: Best Screenplay for the song “Ja Ke Fut Kot” (Netet e Klipit Shqiptar)
2007: Tendency Award for Kastro Zizo “Gjinkalla qe dashurohet ne 2070”, Magic Song Competition (Kënga Magjike).
2007: Best Tendency Award at the Golden Mic Music Festival (Mikrofoni i Artë).
2007: Best Camera Award for the song “Chupa Chupaa” Kastro Zizo & Zaimina Vasjari (Netet e klipit Shqiptar)
2008: Style Song Award for the song “Bashkeshorti ideal” by Kastro Zizo, Magic Song Competition (Kënga Magjike).
2009: Best Director Award for the music video “Jeta Faqolli” at Zhurma Video Music Awards (Kosovo)
2009: Tendency Award for Kastro Zizo’s “I penduar” Magic Song Competition (Kënga Magjike).
2009: Best Director Award for the song “Silazh” (Netet e klipit Shqiptar)
2009: Best Tendency Award at Top Fest 6 for Kastro Zizo’s “Vaji i Kllounit”
2010: Artist of the Year Award at Zhurma Video Music Awards (Kosovo)
2011: Best Interpret Award for Kastro Zizo feat Blero (Gjinkalla remix), Zhurma Video Music Awards (Kosovo)
2013: Best Male Artist Award for the music video of “Pa Lule” ( Netet e klipit Shqiptar )
2014: Best Dance Award for Kastro Zizo’s “Vaj medet” at the Magic Song Competition (Kënga Magjike).
2015: Best Pop Award for Kastro Zizo’s “Eja me ne” at Top Fest 12
2016: Best Interpretation Award for the song “Me Mire te Ndare” (Netet e klipit Shqiptar)
2017: Best Interpretation Award for Kastro Zizo ft. Rea Nuhu “Pa faj” at the Magic Song Competition (Kënga Magjike).
2019: Finalist and Top 5 at the Magic Song Competition (Kënga Magjike) with “Pema e Jetes”.
2019: Finalist at the National Song Festival of RTSH (Festivali Kombetar i Kenges në RTSH), with “Asaj”.
2020: Finalist at the National Song Festival of RTSH (Festivali Kombetar i Kenges në RTSH), with “Vallja e Jetes”.
2021: Best Interpretation Award at Netet e Klipit Shqiptar ’21.
2021: Deliart Award at Netet e Klipit Shqiptar ’21.
2021: Finalist at the National Song Festival of RTSH (Festivali Kombetar i Kenges në RTSH), with “Kujë”
2022: Best Music Video Award in all components at Netet e Klipit Shqiptar ’22.
2022: Deliart Award at Netet e klipit Shqiptar, Best Production Award for 2 Farm’s “Hero”.
2022: Finalist and 3rd at the National Song Festival of RTSH (Festivali Kombetar i Kenges në RTSH) with “Atomike”.
2022: Artist of the Year, United States Congress Certificate and US Flag raised in the Capitol, Washing DC (Senator Charles Schumer).
2022: Most Influential Artist, NY Elite Magazine.
2023: Mayoral Certificate of Recognition (NY Mayor Eric Adams)
(Written by Karen White)